Newstalk
Newstalk

18.35 9 Oct 2019


Share this article


The US drug company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been told to pay US$8bn (€7.28bn) in punitive damages to a man, over claims he was not warned that an antipsychotic drug he was prescribed could lead to breast growth.

A jury in Philadelphia made the award to 26-year-old Nicholas Murray, whose case was the first of thousands pending in the state.

His legal team argued that J&J and its subsidiary Janssen chose "profits over patients" relating to the drug Risperdal, which he was given by his doctor while a child in 2003.

The drug was approved for treating schizophrenia and episodes of bipolar mania in adults by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993.

Mr Murray said J&J failed to warn of the risk of gynecomastia - the development of enlarged breasts in males - alleging the company wrongly marketed it for use by children.

The award was on top of initial compensation of US$680,000 (€619,381) handed over in the case.

Mr Murray's lawyers said in a statement: "This jury, as have other juries in other litigations, once again imposed punitive damages on a corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients.

"Johnson & Johnson and Janssen chose billions over children."

J&J said the award was "grossly disproportionate" with the initial compensation in the case, adding it was "confident it will be overturned" on appeal as jurors had been prevented from hearing evidence of Risperdal's benefits.

The company is no stranger to high profile cases over the the well-being of people using its products.

Courts across the US have rubber-stamped payouts worth €36.4bn to date to people who claimed asbestos, in Johnson & Johnson baby powder for decades, was responsible for their cancers.

Professor Carl Tobias, of the University of Richmond School of Law, told Reuters news agency he expected the punitive damages awarded to Mr Murray by jurors to be reduced on appeal.

He cited a US Supreme Court decision which found that "few awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages, to a significant degree, will satisfy due process."

He added that the verdict could be a sign that J&J will face more large damages awards in other Risperdal cases.


Share this article


Read more about

Antipsychotic Drug Breast Growth Breasts FDa Janssen Johnson & Johnson Philadelphia Professor Carl Tobias Risperdal

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Ted Radio Hour

Ted Radio Hour

20:00-21:00

Share

Up next

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on